The Inappropriateness of the Death Sentence
The death penalty, as practiced in some societies in the world, has had its positive aspects and negative aspects and my stand are that it should be abolished in any democratic state that seeks to ensure justice for both the victims of crime and the offenders.
The death sentence is against the bible and other religious guidelines
Death sentences against convicted criminals in the society go against the spirit and guidelines provided by religious faiths regarding our stay here in the universe.
Religious laws quoted in religious books prohibited the execution of man whatsoever. According to these religious laws, there is no compromise or a reason big enough to necessitate the punishment of an offender through death. The ten commandments developed by God himself in the book of Deuteronomy, under commandment five, prohibits the killing of a man. Universal religious laws concur with the Christian teaching regarding the execution of man as a way of punishment (Goldman, 2017).
Religious teachings in all religion term human life as sacred and one that is not subject to limitation, in all circumstance. According to the various religions, it is God only who can terminate the life of a human being. They recommend the use of other means of justice for offenders to reform and revert back to their normal lives in the society (Goldman, 2017).
Further, no method of executing criminals is humane, all the methods are painful, inhumane and disrespectful of the human dignity. Methods used include shooting offenders, poisoning, electrocution and hanging which are all torturous and therefore inappropriate in a society that respects human dignity and rights (Goldman, 2017).
Death Sentence Does Not Deter Similar Criminal Acts in The Society
Death sentence to criminals fails in the basic goal of court sentences, that of deterring criminal activities in the society by discouraging prospective offenders from engaging in crime.
Although advocates of the death sentence claim that the punishment discourages criminals in engaging in further criminal acts, empirical studies have suggested otherwise; the punishment brutalizes the minds of people in the society further promoting violent traits among the people an aspect that breeds crime. In fact, a study done in countries that embrace the punishment in its judicial systems reveals that the countries have even more cases of serious crimes such as homicides (Mathias, 2013).
The punishment portrays the state as a participant in the painful process that robs people of their basic rights which future generations will copy as they grow up. The young generations watch the existing system to formulate their future thinking and they take with them even the negative aspects (Mathias, 2013). As a result, societies that have adopted this kind of punishment in their judicial system bring up a generation that does not respect the sanctity of man’s life and his inalienable rights (Mathias, 2013).
Punishment by death may lead to innocent citizens being killed
Judicial systems, like all other public service systems, is prone to errors, mistakes which could lead to the death of innocent suspects, a mistake that is irreversible.
Most of those convicted of serious crimes that have been argued to warrant the death sentence are those from lower social economic status; they do not have the ability to hire competent attorneys. Their defense is therefore weak leading to unfair convictions. Majority of the world judicial system is heavily dependent on a defendant’s defenses in making court rulings (Sarat et al., 2017). As a result, they err whenever the suspects do not have a competent defense leading to the termination of their lives.
Failure to gather sufficient evidence in the prosecution of cases have resulted in innocent people losing their lives. A study conducted in societies that embrace punishment of offenders through the death sentence have revealed that some criminals have been killed with evidence emerging later of their innocence. In such cases, the criminals cannot be released or compensated by the states owing to the permanent nature of death (Sarat et al., 2017).
Punishment of criminals through the death sentence has been used by some authorities and governments as a tool to suppress those that do not agree with the systems. For instance, it was noted that in some Middle East countries, political despots have exploited the provision of death sentences in their judicial systems to execute political decedents in those regimes (Sarat et al., 2017). This has unfairly denied many activists and liberal-minded citizens of their right to life.
Goldman, E. (2017). Anarchism: What it really stands for. In Anarchism as Political Philosophy (pp. 34-49). Routledge.
This article sheds light on the moral implications of the death sentence as a form of punishment for criminals in a judicial system. The author bases his argument on religious values in evaluating the appropriateness of the punishment.
Mathias, M. D. (2013). The sacralization of the individual: Human rights and the abolition of the death penalty. American journal of sociology, 118(5), 1246-1283.
This research takes the sociological aspects of justice achieved through the various forms of punishment. The author provides insights into the negative effects of the death sentence on the individual and the society at large.
Sarat, A., Kermes, R., Cambra, H., Curran, A., Kiley, M., & Pant, K. (2017). The Rhetoric of Abolition: Continuity and Change in the Struggle Against America’s Death Penalty, 1900-2010. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 107(4), 757-780.
This study provides this paper with aspects of death sentences and their implications for societal justice in the united states of America. The research sheds light on the failures of this form of punishment especially with regards to mistakes that have led to the death of innocent citizens.
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